I can only speak for myself, but right now is my least favorite time of the year. As far as ice fishing is concerned, the ice is precarious. Coyotes are no longer prime. I could fish the open water north of Chamberlain for walleyes, but I don't generally travel that far to fish, and finding someone to go along isn't near as easy as it used to be. On the plus side, nice days are more frequent, and there's open water at Pickstown only 12 miles away. The walleyes are hit or miss, but the odds can be tilted in one's favor by going early or late.
Thanks to Joyce, my sister-in-law, I have a wonderful new book entitled, Hunt, Gather, Cook by Hank Shaw. The book presents a broad range of fishing, hunting, and foraging activities in a relaxing, refreshing style that makes for enjoyable reading. You might be familiar with Hank Shaw. At the recent three-day Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic in Sioux Falls, Shaw conducted a wild game cooking seminar.
While waiting on the front steps of our Wisconsin home for my fishing partner last summer, a fox trotted out between our home and the home next door. Unconcerned with my presence, he looked at me and proceeded to cross the street. Our chance meeting got me to thinking about fox encounters over the years, and just how broad a territory foxes roam on this planet of ours.
I am frequently asked for advice on guns, and hunting rifles, in particular. Of course it depends on what one is going to hunt, but if we're talking South Dakota deer and antelope with the possibilities of elk or coyote, I'll limit my discussion to the home front. It might surprise you that my primary recommendation is going to be a new firearm. I have my
In describing our West River deer hunt from November, I wrote about a large buck shot by a fellow hunter that appeared to be a mule deer-whitetail hybrid cross. While he possessed mule deer characteristics, including a black-tipped tail, his antlers were of classic whitetail configuration. What really perked my interest was the fact that this buck was with a number of mule deer does, and the rut appeared to be in full swing. Might this breeding potential lead to hybrids of varying degree bloodlines? Might these crosses be sterile, like mules?
To paraphrase W.C. Fields, we went to the Virgin Islands and they were closed. Over the Christmas holidays, Betsy and I, along with 15 family members, spent a week on St. Thomas of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Most tourist-related activities were shutdown as a result of last September's devastating hurricanes, and some areas were still without electricity. The readily visible damage was heart-wrenching. Shorelines were littered with wrecked yachts and sailboats. Buildings were without roofs and walls and wreckage lined the curbs.
This past year, in their infinite wisdom, Wisconsin legislators eliminated the minimum age for mentored deer hunting licenses in their state. As a result, 1814 of these licenses went to nine-year-olds and under. Fifty two of these licenses went to children who were five or younger, including 10 who were under a year in age!
I'll turn 76 years old in April. For the past 15 years, I've wondered when I've booked a hunt, "Have I bitten off too much? Can I handle it physically?" I know I'm overweight, and I have peripheral neuropathy in my legs. Walking is not easy for me. Well, I've been lucky, and I've done just fine ... that is until last month's Wyoming elk hunt. I failed to keep up, and it almost cost me.
Other than a border crossing into Wyoming to see Devils Tower, I had never before visited The Cowboy State with the exception of a 1976 job interview in Sundance. Why had I waited so long?
Mitchell businessmen Dick and Paul Muth made the hunting trip of a lifetime in September. After flying to Fairbanks, Alaska, by way of Minneapolis and Seattle, a two-hour bush plane flight took them to Huslia, a remote central Alaskan village. From Huslia, a two-hour boat trip up the Koyikuk River brought them to moose camp for their 10-day hunt. Their tent camp was a Spartan affair, as not even a footprint was to be left behind in this pristine national park.